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Adding Value to an Arena Legislature: A Preliminary Examination of Topical Debates in the British House of Commons

Thompson, L (2009) Adding Value to an Arena Legislature: A Preliminary Examination of Topical Debates in the British House of Commons The Journal of Legislative Studies, 15 (4). pp. 535-546.

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Abstract

The introduction of the topical debate mechanism in the autumn of 2007 sought to enhance the contemporary nature of debate in the British House of Commons and to increase opportunities for the participation of backbench MPs. Though experimental in the first instance, these debates have since become an entrenched feature of parliamentary life. This note seeks to assess the impact of topical debates on a legislature which has long been characterised by the strength of its plenary sessions. Analysis of the topical debates held during the 2007–08 parliamentary session demonstrates that topic selection has indeed been broad, examining issues of both national and constituency concerns. Whilst there has been no extraordinary change in the House, the use of topical debates by backbench opposition MPs in particular is significant and has the potential to add considerable value to the House of Commons as an arena legislature.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Thompson, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 6 November 2009
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1080/13572330903302554
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:25
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 13:25
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804398

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